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Howard Wasdin Education. (2012) 'SEAL Team Six Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper.' New.

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Us 27, China 19, America 18, United States 7, Hollywood 6, Tom 4, Mr. Friedman 2, Navy 2, Somalia 2, Howard Wasdin 2, Colorado 2, Vietnam 2, Atlanta 2, New York City 2, Afghanistan 2, Washington 2, California 2, Delta 1, Tom Freeppedman 1, The Delta Force 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Howard Wasdin  Education.  (2012) 'SEAL Team  
   Six Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper.' New.  

    September 30, 2012
    10:00 - 11:30pm EDT  

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there on the wall somewhere? in the back. you are supposed to be taking care of this. yeah, turn the volume up. [laughter] i think they are working on it now. is that better? what if i do that? is that right? just like in the seal team, you want something done you do it yourself. before i was a best-selling author -- before i get started in the body that is a veteran or active duty, would you please stand up? let's give them a round of applause. [applause] ..
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were all together in the
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beginning started like this. i was born two months premature current to a teenage mom who had just turned six years old. i remember going to bed hungry many nights. i was raised in an abusive environment. if i told you how i accomplished all that i did, you would ask me how. many had a determination. the reason i was able to accomplish that is because i have the blessing of being born into the greatest country in the world. and you can all applaud him not. [applause]
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>> the greatest country in the world, no matter where you are born, how were you are, where you come from, who your mother was, who your dad was, that you are still able to achieve the what you achieved. the reason that is is because of the people who came before me who bought and gave us that right. i think we are losing sight of that right now. i have never been as afraid for our country as i am right now. i am very afraid for our country right now. we have to hold on to the greatness that we have. let me give you a little background here. you have to know when you are a winner. while that sounds like it's self-evident, it is not. when i was with "seal team six", i thought i was winning. you know, member of an elite counterterrorism unit, you are deployed all over the world working with the best people,
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and i thought i was winning because i was a member of this elite team. but i wasn't. i was in terrible husband and father and that is something that is cultivated in an early age. i had to serve one master and my master was the seal team. if you think you are winning, we can take this across the board. are we winning as a nation, are we winning as an individual, are you winning is a relationship. it is easy when you define what you want to accomplish. defined mission congressman and congressmen and then you can define if you are winning. this young man here, those of you who read the book, i will cover it for those of you who don't -- this young man didn't have the grace and blessing to
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be born into the united states. a safe houses where you go deep into enemy territory. you go into the cia, uk these agents to come in and out of the house, gather information for you, and based on that information you act on that intelligence. well, we are running a very successive safe house in somalia. so successive that we get approved all over the city and get most of the people. one night i smelled horrible
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smell. but if you have never smelled human flesh rotting, it's not like roadkill, it's like horrible -- nauseating, it's like you just have to get away from it. when i smelled the smell, and i'm like, tomorrow we have to find out what that is and get rid of it -- the next morning, i come up on the roof, which is where we watch for our agents coming in and out, and protect them as they are coming in and leaving the safe house, and i didn't smell anything. and i thought, what is that? the next night i am up on the roof and i have the same smell again. and it's like, what is that? we put on our night vision goggles can we go down there and walk around the remainder of the courtyard, and we see this little boy sitting there where you see him on that bed. if you'll look, you will see the little walkway behind him. that is where i was walking when i found him. i saw the little boy playing their end what had happened was this young man was going to school, 12 years old and stepped on a landmine. on the playground.
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because the somalis know that if you can injure somebody at an early age, if you can maim name them, you won't have to fight them later in life. so all of those things that we take for granted in the united states, going to school, getting an education, despite no other virtue then we were born here. nobody deserves to be an american. nobody held a contest and said you were okay, you deserve it, you get to be an american. by the grace of god, we are americans. but this little guy was born into one of the worst environments possible, into a country where you will probably starve to death and get cholera and a bunch of other diseases, probably. if not, you might get maimed. so you might have this. okay, i went to bed hungry a few times because i was born to a teenage mother. okay, my life was pretty bad. let me tell you something.
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nobody cared -- nobody here has had a really bad. this guy has it bad. now he is laying their dying because his right foot is blowing off, his other foot is partially blown off. he had gangrene and he is dying a slow and miserable death. of course, being an american, what we want to do? we want to help the kid. but do i really want to help the kid -- i'm running a safe house. i am in the middle of baghdad territory, i am risking the lives of my agents if i help this young man because that is not my job. my job is to gather intelligence, and get rid of the bad guys and do what needs to be done to take care of our business. well, being raised in the south and being a christian, i had to make some hard choices, and when i made the radio call asking for
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compromising authority, that's basically putting your career on the line. that is the captain that is asking for permission to do something that you know you're not supposed to do, you are willing to sacrifice your guys to go help this child who might be al qaeda, for all i know. i don't know who he is. so anyway, you can't help him, authority denied. two nights later, i'm back up on the roof. not only is the smell worse, then i start hearing this moan. my heart is breaking. imagine a 12-year-old having that death moan. it's the most horrible thing
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you've ever heard. after another night, i couldn't take it anymore. i did the only thing that i knew, and my wife hates it when i pull this out, but it's better to ask for forgiveness than four -- then ask for permission. faces all blacked out, guys are coming in, and you, you, and you, putting you in line you up against the wall. and then you hear your son in the next room screaming. do you think that these four emissaries about her coming in to help you? no, then what we have to do, because like i said, we put them against the wall and what we had to do for this young man is what is called scrub out the dead tissue. a pump him full of ivies, give
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them shots and put some bandages on him. cut the flesh, take the gag off the people and leave. okay, happy ending, right? no, that's not a happy ending yet. we have to change bandages and have follow-up care. so the next night, when you think we did? we kicked in the door again, we came in like we did the night before, the people in the flex cuffs in the corner, scrub the kid down again and everything -- gave him a couple more ivies and cut off the cuffs and left. so by this time, you probably know that these people know that we are helping him. so what did we do the third night? the same thing again? you have to skip a night or they might know that you're coming. so we skip tonight because for
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two reasons. first of all, we needed someone to come in with us that spoke their language. and we also did not want to set a pattern. if they were the bad guys, they could be a true of trappers -- setting up booby traps and whatever. the third night we come in, we kicked open the door, and everybody is down like they were in handcuffs. [laughter] there is no grabbing them and putting them in the place or anything. one lady sitting in the house, the lady of lady of the house, she had a cup of tea. she had a tray of tea that she held out. and this was the tea, and i found out through my interpreter later, this family -- they spend everything they had to buy that tea for us. giving me everything you've got means a lot more than giving me so much of what you got.
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they gave us everything that they had. what they had was enough money to buy that tea and they had that for us. my lesson to you there is that sometimes you have to do the right thing regardless. regardless if someone tells you it's the wrong thing. you have to do the right thing. just because someone might look like your enemy, some like your enemy, they are not necessarily your enemy. what i hear all the time when i tell this story is that doctor howard wasdin, we have people in the united states who need health care, food, and i have
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had them hit me in the face with it. you, yourself or hungry as a young man. don't you think that we should spend our time and resources taking care of that instead of taking care of everyone else? you know what, i got that answer for myself. you have to have that answer in your own heart. i will tell you what. i doubt there is one person sitting here that i could take some of the places that i have been and let you see a starving child and the child dying you can help, and then you answer that question. because then it's personal. it's not just you seeing it on television. then it becomes personal. i know i was winning then. after i was shot up later on during the whole battle -- i
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want to do something. go into your bathroom and kitchen and go outside. turn on all processed and watch what comes out. water. water that you can drink. i am not being funny or is facetious. it is something that simple that we have had so good for so long that we miss the big picture. look at this picture. that is a four year old pouring water over the head over an 18 month old. when we first found these two little girls, they both had colorado. again, i'm not going to tell you what color does to the human body, but it dehydrates you and eventually you die of dehydration and electrolyte into her can't even function. these two little kids had cholera. then we had to show them where
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to go to get the good good water after we vaccinated them. before you start thinking about hal they went to fill up more water from their sister and so they have more drinking water. making the streets state, i consider this probably our most important mission. i know that the book was written, you know, everybody looks at it and it is all hollywood. and all you saw was the good guys versus the bad guys. it is not that cut and dry. what we were doing there was
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feeding a starving nation, starving people, fighting those who figured out that the dictator could control people's lives by starving them. come go with me and let me have complete dominion over you for 40 or 45 days, and he will do whatever i tell you to do for assaulting cracker. we are making the streets safe, these children who were starving, and if you've never seen a starving child, i can't even explain it to you. we got rid of the bad guys, we help the people, the state statehouse is running well, we apprehended the militia people. folks, we thought we had it won. it was one. we were down to just one guy left. we had all of the lieutenants on the day -- will lack outbound
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debacle happened. we left them over there without finishing the job and a few years later we paid the price because that became an incubation place for them. he gave them a place to train. in the middle of all this, you are watching good guys versus bad guys and we had turned the whole nation around. making the streets safe, teaching them how to drink water without dying, telling them how to take care of themselves, reestablishment of government, get rid of the bad elements that you don't see in hollywood, because guess what, we are spoiled as americans. you go watch a two-hour movie and thinking you really know what goes on in the world. we have the most closed off
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health centered nation in the world because we have had it so good for so long, and if we don't open eyes and if we don't start looking around and paying attention, we are not going to old that for very long. this is what it looks like now in somalia. that is what it looked like when i got there in 1993. we had to change that. now, this picture was just taken last summer, that is what it looks like right now. the reason it looks like now is because we didn't finish the job. these people are still starving, somebody's popularity ratings looked a little bit in the polls and we decided that regardless of what is going on, afghanistan, iraq, whatever -- i
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don't care what your views are on that. you have to realize this. if we don't finish the job, it will come back and bite us. now, you have to know when you're not winning. being the hard headed south georgia redneck that i was, he had to go extra mile to show when i wasn't winning. every once in a while there has to be a game changer. >> ♪ ♪ [video playing] [voices and
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gunfire] >> [voices and gunfire]
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>> [engine noises] [military members talking] >> if you see that guy right there, that is my best friend, dan bush, who died in that helicopter crash. if you look at that invented hollywood, that's real people are there.
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keep in mind the type of man i had become. i had become so cocky and arrogant that i didn't even associate outside those circles. abusive childhood, never had anything good to hold onto, so finally, i get a team that i consider my family and i make that the center of my world. if that is going to be the center of my world, i'm going to be the best at it that i can be. so that i can go on field team six and then be a sniper, i am the cream of the crop as far as that goes. and i watch people get injured around me. i watched people get shot on either side of me. i never got a scratch.
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i did it skydive and i never got a scratch. none of that happened me. well, god decided on october 3, 1993, that i was protected by god only as long as he allowed me to be. the first time i got shot was at the hotel -- the olympic hotel when we were taking the prisoners out. i got shot in the left knee. does anyone here know what i thought when the first bullet hit me? >> give me a hand? >> what did i get? >> [inaudible] in a way, yeah, that's close enough. it was i got shot, are you joking? that happens to other people. the second time was when i
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almost blew my right leg off. at that time, i thought, hey, these guys are serious. the third time i got shot when i had my leg propped up on the --, trying not to bleed to death, then i got shot in the left foot, that was when i was like okay, i'm back to being humble and being human. up to that point, i thought i was superman. at that point, i had to learn that i was only human. here is what i struggle with. why do people who are better than me -- why are they dead and i was allowed to live -- why did god allow me to live? i came back with a stigma called survivor's guilt. let me bring you up close and personal to these people.
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in germany, that is a happy ending there, right? no, i just lost my career. i almost died later of a staph infection. i went through a divorce. everything i had, lost my good friends and everything i had, which was pretty much gone like that. because i had everything concentrated on one direction. so when i was sitting there after this was all done, and i'm in my wheelchair and suffering from survivor's guilt and feeling bad for myself, i got my 9-millimeter in my lap and maybe even a bullet is better than what i'm going through. think about what a sad state of affairs you have to be in. i am talking about going to from rockstar to rock-bottom network. the reason is because the light did not move away from me. i moved away from the light.
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and i climbed into the bottle and became an alcoholic. i didn't ask for help. because good men don't ask for help. that is a lie. real men don't ask for help or talk about their problems -- real men tough it out -- you might be making your life miserable, and if you're not, i promise you are making your family's life miserable. i'm speaking from experience. let me bring it close and personal to a couple of people. this way, you will see real people and not hollywood. can anyone guess why we would call a helicopter pilot velvet
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elvis? >> what is a? >> [inaudible] i will show you. this is why we called him they'll let elvis. ♪ ♪ >> as good as that sounds come in this man can sing as good as the king himself. let this go for another minute, i have to get to my favorite car. ♪ ♪ [music playing] >> anyway, that song, "hunka
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hunka burning love", we all get in the back of the black hawk and all of us take a nap or whatever, and he takes the aircraft and he pulls it up and pushes it down, making the aircraft go back and forth, you're bouncing off the wall and floor, singing "hunka hunka burning love" and laughing. [laughter] that is something that hollywood can't sell. that's not dramatic. that is one man making a difference.
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they are flying, down low, over their heads, think about the love that that takes. while i'm on that, but he is going to ask this question, so i'm going to go ahead and take it away from you. how do you go from being a sniper, howard wasdin, have you do that from being a sniper to a chiropractor? people don't become navy seals, they don't become pilots because they want to be killing machines. they do that out of love. they do that out of love for their fellow man and because they want to be in the position to save a life and somebody needs to come get you. i don't want to do it because i
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want to just go kill bad guys. i want to be the one making a difference, helping out, putting my life on the line for you. by the same token that i was a sniper, willing to die for you, i could be a good doctor willing to help you because it is out of love. but the short answer is, i still put people out of their misery, but just in a different way. this hollywood and billionaire roman this is what really disgusts me, most of us will never be hollywood stars or billionaires. but look at the one guy i just told you about. a normal guy. he made a big difference in a lot of people's lives. by the way, it mr. buffett really was complaining, he should just really write a check and shut up and pay more taxes.
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[laughter] [applause] at any rate, the way that we overcame this and the way we have to overcome adversity now and we are facing adverse conditions in the united states, unemployment, i turned 50 years old this year. in my lifetime, i have never seen unemployment like this or people having to look for jobs. i employ a people at my clinic and i bet i get 15 to 20 resumes a week for overqualified people. we are living in adverse conditions and times. on top of that we have all of the debt and everything as corny as it that sounds, teamwork is how we get out of that. the democrats and republicans. how did we get to this point in our country were you either have to be a democrat or a republican? you have to believe all of what these people think, or you have to believe all with these other people think. i can't believe a little bit what you think, now we are the
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tea party nation. that is our demise. because you can't say, okay well, you can take this guy and what he thinks, and people say, well, what about congress? we might have to have a president that's republican and one that's a democrat -- what about the people in congress that were blindly following the president along party lines regardless of what is right. how about some teamwork they are? we put them in church for two weeks, make sure they attend teamwork classes, they can do some push-ups, and get things straightened out. [applause] have you guys heard me talk about the aircraft drawing fire? >> think about somebody willing to risk their lives to run out and be shot at.
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i'm a republican and i have to think like this. you don't. and you're not doing what's right for the country. you are not playing as a team. the only thing you care about is the life in luxury i'm used to. i don't worry about health care. any of you in here, look at their retirement, you think your senators really care? i'm sure that some care but most of them care about being reelected. my point to them and to you is this. and i am glad this is on c-span. teamwork. it's what made america great and what has gotten us through two world wars.
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teamwork. we could get these knuckleheads in the beltway to play as a team i told you about losing my friends, the low point, needing help, i backed the president obama when he took out osama bin laden.
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president bush, it took both presidents doing what they thought was right, to get the job done. why is it considered a weakness to ask one party to ask another party to help them out. maybe we can sit down and talk through some of his and talk through some of it. i might be wrong and i might be out of touch.
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we are out of touch just because people say you have to be left or right. i am a team player and i am all for teamwork. there are things i agree with on the right and their there are other things i agree with on the left. but i will tell you one thing, i don't think anything should be rammed down our throats and i think it ought to be bipartisan.
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we have to get back to that point. now, with seal team six, there was one reason we would not win. one primary reason. it was a way of a communication problem. it could be on the wrong radio, a bad location, there is always a reason why. but there was a communication problem. not having an interpreter there -- we have to start communicating with this country. can anybody tell me for a fact we have had one president that was all good?
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>> [inaudible] these are the people who come in and jump in front of you and take a bullet for you. that is what we have to have. and what we have to have in this country, people who are informed and not blindly following somebody because this person is on the left or the right. political vitiate unsent affiliation aside, let me tell you a story. there used to be a huge rivalry
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between the delta force guys and the seal team six guys. we are better than you or you are better than us. the delta force guys me to spend time together, which is more reason why we had seal team six up to capitol hill -- i was on the red team, we trade with them, we got to know them, we learn from them, oh, my goodness, what a concept. we all got better. if we could do that with our neighbors, if we could do that with christians and muslims, oh, my goodness. we could develop individuals and learn it's not just my believer what i think, we will improve as
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a society. getting back to finish the job, that is a lesson learned. we have to take those same lesson learned in combat and apply to your life. we have to do that as two when one counterterrorism people and we have to definitely do that as a nation.
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does anybody in here have that one friend, no matter what is going on, they went through a divorce, having a bad day one person.
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no matter when things went bad, that good of a christian guy, you know that guy, that's pretty remarkable. movie stars won't tell you the truth about what is the truth. you have to learn for yourself. you have to learn what is really going on in the world.
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i flip it over to bill o'reilly and just look at how cut and dried dill has got everything. if it was really that simple, i would be the happiest man in the world. something in the middle is real and you have to figure that out by yourself. by the way, we had to go to the next level.
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i tell you this. i say all that to tell you this. we have forgotten how to love in this country. i know that nobody sitting in this room came to hear me speak and tell you that what we are missing as well. it's like you don't know anything about seal team six. the men on seal team six, all the military people, they have a type of card you can imagine. did i ever say that religion matter? what color of the skin? are they male or female? are they muslims, christians -- nothing?
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imagine having that in your heart. that is what military people have. that is what your counterterrorism units have. because they are doing it every day, throwing themselves. [inaudible] i have so many patients now that i can hardly see them all. people can tell when you love them. when i was kicking out the door and swimming in the room, i left him with love. in closing, i want to leave you with an example of how i know love is missing.
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after i got divorced, i told myself i would never get married again. i would rather get shot three more times. i was a bachelor for a long time. god finally sent me the right one who convinced me that i could do something else with my life. i don't live in a bottle anymore. i don't have to take a ton of prescription medications anymore for pain. i have learned how to express myself besides just being on a team or having to do something illegal time. there's it is a lesson that i've had to learn. me and my wife, who totally turned me around and saved me, in savanna, georgia, we live an hour and a half from savanna georgia. my wife is so special, she had to drive an hour and a half to get her hair done.
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i went with her to get her hair done because that is how with im anymore. i am with her getting her hair done and we finished getting debbie's hair done and we are driving down the street and we are getting ready to get to her favorite restaurant to have dinner and it's starting to rain. then i look over to the right, and there is nothing natural when you are looking at a drive in seeing somebody laying on the side in the middle of the rain at the 7-eleven. so i look over there and i see this older man, probably 75, maybe not that old, laying there on his side, and i could tell that he is struggling and trying to get up, it's starting to rain and harder. and i tell my wife, when the light changes, we have to help this guy. for two seconds, my heart leapt up in my chest. two young men pulled up next to him, got out of their car, walked around to him, and i'm thinking oh, thank goodness, there is still hope for america and we still have love for each
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other, and then my heart broke. one of the guys melt down behind him and posed while the other guy pulled his pants and managed to take a picture of this guy know a guy unshed note down come it took another picture of the other guy sitting down there and high five each other, got in the car and drove off. folks, if that had been a dog on the side of the road with a broken leg laying down, everybody in this room would've stopped and helped that dog. this is a human being. that i could've been -- folks, this is a human being. and if you are having to think that hard about it, read the bottom line again. love is what we are missing. we don't even love each other anymore enough to stop and look. so when the light changed, we pulled over next to him, we got out, by now it is reading very
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hard, i put my hand underneath his shoulder and i said i'm going to set you up and then wouldn't stand out. bring your bottom leg forward. it is not doing it, and i'm like okay, this guy must be drunk or correct dataset or whatever. but but i'm here now in order to get them out of the road, i don't care. so the reason the men couldn't bring his bottom leg forward come as it turns out later, is that he has leg shot off in vietnam. my leg was hit one here. if it had been seven more millimeters, my leg would be off as well. i look at that man and said there by the grace of god, there go live. i crawled into a bottle when i came back home. that could be me laying on the street right there. granted, i was treated a lot
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better than the vietnam veterans when i came home. god bless those guys. he lost his leg, he now lives in a homeless soldier shelter over there. the next time you see anyone who needs your help, no matter what it might be, that might just be somebody who really needs help, remember this, the grace of god, there goes you. go back to the first part of my powerpoint presentation. nobody in here did anything to deserve to be born in america. thank you all for your attention. i love you all very much. god bless america. [applause] >> they have asked me for the q&a. we have a few minutes per question and answer. if anyone has any questions, use
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this microphone to ask them because we are being taped. >> boy, i must be pretty thorough. don't be afraid, it's only c-span. what part of this microphone do you not understand? [laughter] thank you. >> when you think about the latest book about the navy seals? >> i knew that that was coming. my personal opinion on the latest book is, and this is just my opinion, i don't begrudge anybody their first amendment right. if you have something that is sticking and you want to set the record straight, that is one thing. it puts a lot of people in danger, not the least of which is his family in and him. i think he should have been vetted. i had five drafts draft of my book, the last one, you know,
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the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff looked at. i think if you are out of the military and you are going to write a about, i think you should always go through, especially bad, because that is life-changing stuff. that's the biggest thing that has happened and that it should release had a look by people of authority, but you know, the stuff that you did, you know, he was a member of the team and definitely has the right to express himself. hopefully everything turns out all right. my book was a no-brainer. twenty years after that, but those of you who read my book know that it is not about chess. it's about overcoming adversity. i hope that there's some good
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book that he wrote. but to me, it seems pretty politically driven. >> next? >> yes, sir? to training with delta force, i'm wondering if you did anything with the australians were bred? >> okay, so you haven't read my book. in my memoir, that's something i covered in detail. training with them, don't tell any of this, but the vfw said so -- the guys in australia, they are my personal favorite. great guys. having said that, there are a lot of others special operations units. i just got back from a two-week european tour, and there are a lot of good guys in the world. america does not have a market of good guys. there are a lot of good guys doing a lot of good stuff.
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>> is that it? >> you have made an impact on my life. it is an excellent talk. we are proud of you. thank you very much. >> i think that is a great note and to end on. thank you very much, everybody, i am going to make myself available for about 25 minutes. if you want to get your book signed, i will be right here. thank you for being a great audience. [applause] >> is there a nonfiction author or book you'd like to see featured on the tv? >> send us an e-mail at booktv@c-span.org or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. >> i would say that i'm working from nine to three. most writers who say that they write for seven or eight hours a day, they are exaggerating.
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you just can't. you sort of lose it after a while. you certainly lose it when you're working on a novel. because the edge of your imagination starts to blur. i would say, for the best case, about three hours. even when you are writing a nonfiction book, you know, you may be putting three good hours away and the rest of it, the research, the e-mails, making another cup of coffee, that sort of thing. it usually begins with a theme, fiction usually begins with a theme for me. identity, redemption, art, things like that. but the whole process really picks up when i start to ground some of my thoughts in a character that will become the protagonist, and that becomes a
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church or that is important to me. i think that it is a permanently good, only because it leaves a piece of yourself behind. let's say almost no one -- but almost 20 years from then -- you will have children and you can show them what you wrote. they will understand things about you that they might not understand otherwise. writing, even in its most basic form, letter, a poem, a note to someone, you can serve as a kind of immortality. we all have that experience of loving someone and losing them finding a car that they have signed or letter that they have wrote, still alive in some ways. i think the more writing, the better.
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>> in other words, you spend a fair amount of time at the computer -- part of your thinking how i feel about this in 10 years? how unequivocal do i want to be about certain things? i would not call it censoring, it is more taking the long view. because of that, i don't really have any regrets about anything that i have written. >> you have any advice? >> yes, i mean, don't wait for inspiration. i don't know where she is, but she's not coming.
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at least she's never coming here. the hardware part does not this are thinking about it. people are thinking about writing a book and no book ever gets written by thinking about it. i think that too often people think that if you're going to write well, it must be because you wake up in the morning and your heart sinks. my heart doesn't think -- i constantly think that if i don't
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sit down and start writing, you won't do it. ter >> today we are joined by thomau friedman and michael mandelbaum. when you heard the term americaa exceptionalism, mr. michael mandelbaum, what do you think? e >> guest: we write about thingsy and exceptionalism is not an entitlement. it is something that has to be f earned. theme it is not like a batting average. up. you have to keep it up everyday. one of the themes is that we are not keeping it up. we have a lot of work to do. >> host: in this his current campaign we are hearing a lot op nostalgia about president reagan >> guest
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and tip o'neill and they were best friends and why can't we dh thaten again?stricts, and >> guest: political districts, , thanks to google maps, is now at the atomic level. it's .. get my news from exactly the person or website that reflects my own interests so we don't have to ever meet people who disagree with us, and, of course, money in politics now is is big as all outdoors. that u.s. congress is basically a forum for legalized bribery, okay. you put that all together, and you have a prescription for a deeply divided political system. >> host: is there also a sense that -- of nostalgia that things were really not that great 30 years ago or were they? >> guest: when it comes to parties working together, there was a big difference, and, of course, a big overarching difference was we were in the cold war, and there that was the
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disciplining force. you couldn't be silly. you couldn't be stay stupid. we had a nuclear gun point the add the head. we loss that discipline. >> host: when you think about china today, where would you put it on the american spectrum? where is china today? >> guest: well china has done remarkably well over the last 30 years, but they face serious problems going forward. in the book, we talk a lot about china and about china's achievements, but we do not say that america must emulate china. china is part of the process of globalization that has put ever more pressure on our society, on our economy, and on every individual who has and wants to keep or wants to get a job. china's important, but the message of this book is we don't need to look at china. we need to look at ourselves, and, indeed, we do need to look at our history and our
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traditions. one of the reasons that a book about the american future has a backward looking title, "that used to be us" is that we are confident, and we say so in the book, that if we get back to our best tradition, we can win the future in the way that we won the past, but we have to understand our traditions. we have to update them. we have to embrace them. >> host: what's your day job? >> guest: my day job is that i'm professor of american foreign policy at the johns hopkins school of advanced international studies in washington. we teach graduate students. i have wonderful students from all over the world. students come from all over the world to study here because this is america, and they know that there is something special about america, and we wrote this book to try to make sure that in the future, students from all over the world and people and entrepreneurs and immigrants from all over the world will continue to come here, that this will remain a special place.
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>> host: tom, is, of course, the "new york times" columnist, pulitzer prize winner three times. how did you team up? >> guest: we're old friends and neighbors and we called each other and talked about the world, but we noticed something in recent years. we started talking about the world, but we ended every day talking about america. it was apparent to us that america, its future and vitality is the biggest foreign policy issue in the world. that's how we wrote the book together. >> host: "that used to be us" is the name of the book, and the first caller is ralph in illinois. ralph, you're on booktv on c-span2. >> caller: yes, god bless us all. we could save the country economically in major ways that would be painless like in health care, to use alternative therapy which costs 99 fold or percent
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less and use total quality management and end waste and corruption, and automotive, oil imports, use half marijuana, and aerodynamic underneath of the car, and cash rater goe for preheating the gasoline to burp it completely, and -- > host: there's a lot on the table. do you have a response? >> guest: you know, certainly we've got to look for the most innovative ways we can to bring health care costs down. we are both baby boomers. we're entering the phase where we retire with a whole cohort, and if you don't find a sufficient, cheaper cost efficient way to bring our health care and provide health care to us baby boomers in
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particular, if we blew the budget now, we'll really blow it out in ten years. >> host: you conclude the book basically by saying america has always been ail to pull its chestnuts out of the fire. >> guest: we believe that's true, but not automatically. we have to get back to the best traditions. we have to ask and answer the basic question that con prompts every individual in every country, namely what world are we living in? what have to do to thrive in it? there's another point worth making that fits into the caller's last question. this is not going to be painless. we have to make sacrifices. any politician who tells you that we can fix our problems, the four major challenges we discuss, in "that used to be us" without messing our hair is not telling the truth. we also have a tradition of sacrificing for the greater good and for the sake of a better future, and we got to get back
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to that too. >> host: tom, what are the four major challenges briefly? >> guest: well, basically, first of all to respond to globalization. second, to the ic revolution and the two actually merged into one challenge. we have gone from a connected world to a hyperconnected world. you know, one of the pointings made in the book, i wrote about the connected world in 2004 in "the world the flat," and when we sat down to write this book, appreciate how much changed. i got the first edition of "the world is flat" off the shelf, and facebook was not in it. seven or eight years ago, we're all connected, facebook didn't exist, twitter was a sound, clouds were in the sky, linked in was a prison, and skype was a typo. that all happened in seven years, and that's taken us from a connected to a hyperconnected world transforming the workplace, factory floor, and it
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has to transform education. second two is debt and receive dit and energy and climate. >> host: next call from indiana, is it dewit? >> caller: my question is from mr. friedman. i remember what you're talking about, the economy being the most senseless partnership of the government and the private sector. i wonder where that partnership stands right now? i mean, have we been witnessing the decline of the state in that partnership in recent years? i'm asking this as a recent immigrant to the united states, you know, someone who is really concerned. thank you very much. >> guest: what a wonderful question. i appreciate that. that is really a core argument of our book that what made america great was we had this amazing public-private partnership, and the public basically provided the foundation for our market economy and our great entrepreneurs to really launch into the world.
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what was that public side? educated people, up and beyond whatever the technology was, have the world's best infrastructure, roads, airport, tell come, bandwidth, the open immigration here to bring you here and have the most talented immigrants, have the best rules and regulations to incement vise risk taking and prevent wrecklessness, and government funded research to push boundaries of science, research, chemistry, biology so smart risk takers turn them into new companies. that was the public side. the private side is the natural entrepreneurship. country. put that together. you get a great america, an an america that delivers on the american dream. we declined on the public side. we need to get back to reinvesting in that. >> host: mark in pennsylvania. plead, go ahead with the question for the two authors. >> caller: yes, i was wondering if -- hello? >> host: we're listening, mark. >> caller: yes, i was
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wondering if you think it's too late because if you looked at the amount we export and the amount we import from around the world that it might be too late to turn america around? >> host: michael? >> guest: it's not too late. we have exactly enough time to turn it around if we start now. we have the human capital, the resources, and the traditions, but we have to get serious about the challenges, and incidentally, we are bullish on american factories, and there's changes like 3-d printing technology that favors us. we'll have, we believe, if we do it right, a manufacturing comeback, although, two other things have to be added. first, we manufacture more in exports more, but we're not going to employ more people. this is going toke -- to be specialized.
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factory workers will not just roll out of high school to the factory floor and do that for 40 years. if you want to work in manufacturing, have high wages, and the jobs will be available as we detail in the book, you'll going to have to have an awful lot of training. >> host: tom, is the trade deficit a bad thing? necessarily? i mean, in and of itself? >> guest: well, a sustained deficit gets you in trouble because that indicates you are consuming more than you produce, but trade deficit was not a great concern, but over time with the deficit, that's going -- you'll pay for that one way or another. in the current campaign, one of the commercials broadcast in some of the battleground states like this area is the china
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commercial, mitt romney accusing president obama of allowing the chinese to cheat as it were, and that manufacturing jobs for the first time, more manufacturing jobs in china and the obama administration's responding. is that a fair fight? is that a fair issue? >> guest: you know, china has to live up to its obligations under the world trade organization like anyone else, but, you know, here we in the mall, washington monument there, white house there, constitution avenue. when you see the chinese feeling what really is of value, it's hiding in plain sight, the declaration of independence and the bill of rights, then you should start to worry, but if they cheat here and there, they take the next thing we produce because we have that incredible foundation here of rule of law, protection of property, and a wonderful society that spins off
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innovation. >> host: michael, do you foresee china becoming the world's largest economy, and is that a bad thing? >> guest: it's not a bad thing for china to become the world's largest economy, and if things go well in china as they may or may not, that probably happens in the next decade or two, but bear in mind that china has so many people that the per capita income in china will still be far lower than our per capita income. moreover, even when china has the world's largest economy, that does not make them the world leader and enable them to do the things the united states does for the world. the reason we wrote the book, "that used to be us" because we believe the american global role is not just unique, but in most ways at most times uniquely value l. it helps us, and it helps the whole world. the world would be a less
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peaceful place without the exansive role, but in order to continue to play that role, we have to meet the four challenges that we outline in the book. all of which is to say, among other things, that china, as well as america, has a very large interest in america meeting its challenges. >> host: next call for the two guests here on booktv, marge in pratt, west virginia. hi. >> caller: good afternoon, gentlemen. i'd like to know if you, mr. friedman, would entertain a proposal for me about education. i think that we -- talking about the future of the country, we need to talk about how education drastically needs revamped from preschool all the way up to college level. i would love to e-mail you and talk to you about my ideas, but i'm very, very ill. i don't have much stamina so i would love to have a
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conversation with you if i could leave my information with the people at c-span. i'd be grateful, but generally, this is what i'm thinking. i have taught from kindergarten through college level, courses -- i have certification as a reading specialist, and my masters' as a reading specialist, and my undergraduate is los angeles arts. i became a curriculum specialist or supervisor of teachers for the vast part of the career. i have a vast perspective on what needs to be done in the educational system, and i just think we're not -- we keep trying to put band-aids on what the problems are in the country, and i think we just need to start from scratch with a long term plan. >> host: we appreciate it. tom, in your column in the new york city times, your e-mail is at the end of the column? >> guest: yes, uh-huh. >> host: if shemented to contact you, she can go to the new york times website?
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>> guest: yes, absolutely. >> host: what are we doing right and wrong? >> guest: the book is about education, what you need to know to be prepared for globalization and the i.t. revolution are merging. there's two challenges. bring the bottom to the average so much faster. that's the three reading, writing, and arrhythmia tick. that's where the three c's, tony wagner from harvard calls creativity, collaboration, and communication. we have a dual educational challenge. we need not more education, but better education. > guest: we have a lot to say about education in that used to be us, but one point, really, i think is overarching. there's an old saying in military affairs that war is too important to be left to the generals. well, similarly, education is too important to be left to the teachers. i say that not because teacher
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are unimportant. i'm a teacher myself. i'd never say that. what we emphasize in "that used to be us" is education is a national responsibility. it's not a question of reforming this or that practice. all of us have to take ownership in and responsibility for our educational system. it's not just teachers. it's community leaders, politicians, parents, and it's students themselves no matter how stress they feel in order to thrive in the world of the 21st century, the world defined by the merger of globalization and the i.t. revolution, they have to workheartedder. education is a national issue, a national responsibility, and there's nothing more important. >> host: who are one of the individuals you single out when it comes to education in "that used to be us"? >> guest: we single out someone in colorado and another one who is well-known, and that's bill gates. bill gates devoted resources of
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his foundation to trying to figure out what makes for good teaching? what he looked at education, he concluded that we just don't have enough data, enough information. they are investing an enormous amount of money in trying to figure out what helps children learn and what makes for a good teacher. that's an important thing to do, and there are other important things to do as well, but the message is this is a national responsibility, and everybody has to take part because the future of the country depends on it. >> host: robert in atlanta, you're on booktv on c-span2, michael, tom are the guests. >> caller: thank you, good afternoon, i enjoyed listening to you. my comment and question is to do with how we are perceived around the world and since september 11, our treasure has been spent on wars and other difficulties dealing with the muslim world.
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this cost us taxes on our products and world opinion and how we're going to deal with these people directly influences how we export our products. can you talk to the public today about how we should be dealing with the muslim world? >> host: starting with tom friedman. >> guest: well, that's a complicated question, but a very important one. you know, i think one of the things we have to do in the future is we spent too many years investing in the muslim world with tanks, planes, and guns by supporting one dictator or another in the cold war. i think that bought us and brought us a lot of problems we have today. we have to shift how we think to relating to that part of the world, try to really empower them with schools, books, and teachers instead to really deliver to them what they want, the tools to succeed in the 21st century. we talked about that a little. we really believe this is really got to be a new model how we relate to that part of the
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world. > host: tom, with the protests going on, the anti-american protests, could you put that in context of the larger picture? you've been covering the area for a long time. >> guest: two things. one, it's a competition in the world between the far right and the far, far right. the far, far right want to really march on and embarrass the regular fundamentalist muslims, and main street muslimsic like the breerhood, see who outbids the other to be a better servant of mohammed or that cementment is coming out. we saw remarkable events in libya yesterday with mainstream moderate libyan democrat took on the bad guys themselves. that's a great thing, a wonderful sign, and a hopeful
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sign for the future. >> host: michael, anything to add to that viewer in atlanta? >> guest: yes. we both believe that it is important for the united states to play an expansive role, important for america and people of other countries, and that costs money, and it's going to be difficult to find the money with whars coming. the wars we fought in the last decade in afghanistan and iraq, they were expensive, controversial, probably always be controversial, but we ought to recognize as well that the biggest obligations we have, the greatest pressure on taxpayers and on our fiscal policy comes not from those wars or policies people disagree about, but the policies we all believe in, programs everybody wants, namely social security and especially medicare, and unless and until we find ways to reform those programs to make them more
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affordable, we're going to continue to have trouble, both abroad and at home. >> host: and the last call for our two guests comes from bill in california. first of all, bill, where in california are you, and then go ahead and ask your question. >> caller: marina del ray. >> host: thank you. >> caller: okay. i never hear discussed what, to me, is clearly and obviously the real problem in the country. i like to paraphrase james' old saying in the election of 1992, it's the economy, stupid. it's the culture stupid. the culture of america is changing for the worse, and we see it in our terrible, competitiveness ratings, you know, with the foreign countries in math, science, ect. it's not hard to make chose changes. politically, it will be very difficult, but it's really quite cheap, and nobody ever talks about the kinds of things we have to do, and it's not putting
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more money into education, ect.; it's getting the kids to want to learn. if they want to learn, we could spend half of what we spend and we'll get better students. >> host: bill, thank you very much. michael, you start. >> guest: anybody who is concerned about american values and american culture should read "that used to be us" because there's an extensive discussion of both, and we do feel it over the last 20 years, some of the core values have eroded. in particular, there's now a greater emphasis on the short term than there used to be, and not as much emphasis as we need on the long term. there's no doubt that culture and values are important. it's part of the story. it is not the whole of the story, but we do deal with those -- with that issue in "that used to be us, and although changing culture and reenforcing values is difficult, we believe it can be done. >> host: tom?
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>> guest: there's a chapter in the book called devaluation, about the shift in the country from sustainable values, values that sustain relationships, companies, markets, to situational values, do whatever the situation allows. we see too much of the latter. we need to get back to the former. >> host: who was the audience in mind when you wrote "that used to be us"? >> guest: concerned american citizens and everybody who is not an american who cares about, is worried about, and counts on the united states. that really does include the whole world. >> guest: we like to say the book is what the election should be about if we had a real election. >> host: "that used to be us" is out in paperback, national best seller, tom freeppedman and michael joined us here at if you look at the 18th century they started off here in 1704 as a very puny and
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unimpressive kind of enterprise. the very first newspapers were very small, had circulations in the dozens and maybe then in the low hundreds and they were intimidated by the other institutions in that society is officially church and state and compared to the newspapers they were not at all important and very much under their thumbs but what you see in the decades is a process by which the newspapers become increasingly political and what the focus on and they get to be bold for the reasons i going to in the book so by the 17 sixties and 77 these the are expressing themselves on all of the political issues on the day on independence from britain or reconciliation with another
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country on if we break what kind of a government should we have, all these huge questions. and the press becomes quite polemical during this period. it's often the product people are reading are often produced anonymously or so anonymously by people who don't want to be known as political partisans and that is the nature of the press the founders were familiar with. that press was local, it was small scale and very political. most of those newspapers had three little of what we would think of as original reporting, nonfiction material the staff generated. that wasn't in the cards. as we see a return to a more political style today in
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journalism, it's not something that is unanticipated would doesn't fit into this constitutional scheme. who invented reporters? >> we tend to think of reporters and journalists as synonyms. >> not at all. no, no, no, it wasn't until about the 1830's here in new york city and other invented journalist named benjamin created the first so-called penny press newspaper sold it for a penny a copy so going way down market trying to reach the broadest possible audience and to do that he needed to fill up with surprising and amazing things every day. fires, news from the police stations, docking of ships, anything like that that he could find her who and he wore himself out trying to fill the paper so he hired the first full-time
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reporter, a man named george wells near -- wilsner but i'm going to try to do something about that. >> when did journalism become a business? that is the period if you are deserting in the colonial period doesn't sound like it was -- how did it support itself? >> most of those newspapers were created by people who were really in another trade. that is they were printers and in order to keep the print shop dizzy and bring their customers into the shop to pick up their papers so that they could sell some stationary on the side or sell them a book while they were in their they hit upon the idea of the newspaper as a perfect device. it expires every weekend leader everyday so most of those
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enterprises were sidelined of someone who we would really think of as a job printer that is someone open to printing all kinds of stuff from anybody that had business, and then it is our number that revolutionary period purely federal period you see the sideline disappear and the newspaper itself becomes the real focus. the first daily paper in the country is founded in 1783. once the cities get to be a certain density and there is enough commerce and population, then in the early part of the 19th century they get going and they really take off in the 1830's. >> that's when it's fair to say for the first time that journalism is a business. >> yes it is clear by then. professor spencer, in your